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LastPass is one of the most recognizable names in password management. The free version has more features than some of the password managers you have to pay for. LastPass is also available on a range of devices, including Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS. In this LastPass review, I’ll first take a closer look at the security and privacy of this password manager. Later I’ll discuss its apps and ease of use. Moreover, I’ll explain how to use LastPass, and what the difference is between plans.
- Encryption: AES-256-bit encryption
- MFA: Yes
- Biometric login: Yes
- Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, Chrome, iOS, Android
- Browser extensions: Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari
- Free version: Yes
- Price: from $3.0/month
Security and Privacy
Let’s start by looking at LastPass’ security and privacy. In this section, I’ll discuss encryption, multi-factor authentication, and scandals regarding users’ security.
On their website, the LastPassword team emphasizes that their top priority is safeguarding your data. To achieve that, they claim they refuse to have access to your account. Let’s see if this promise is anything more than just nice words to attract new customers.
LastPass uses AES-256-bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256. That means you get one of the strongest ciphers available.
With this password generator, your data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level. That means the information you store in your vault is entirely secure. On their website, the LastPass team claims that not even they can access it, as your master password, encryption, and decryption keys are never sent to LastPass servers.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
Another great thing in terms of security is the fact that LastPass supports multi-factor authentication (MFA).
MFA is a combination of biometric and contextual intelligence. It helps to make sure that you have access to your data when you need it, with an extra layer of security. Meaning, you will be asked to take more than one login step before accessing your vault.
With multi-factor authentication and solid password strength, it’s one of the most secure password managers out there.
For over a decade, LastPass held a clear reputation. Their only scandal came in 2015 when a hacker tried to break through the encryption but didn’t manage to do so.
However, everything changed in September 2019. Security researchers at Google’s Project Zero announced that a hacker embedded the website with malicious code. Therefore, some of the credentials of more than 16 million users were likely exposed.
In response, LastPass shortly updated its code and forced the update on the user base. Meaning, users didn’t need to take care of updates themselves.
Even though the password manager provider took action to solve this grave issue, it is quite apparent that from now on, their reliability will be judged with a grain of salt.
Apps and ease of use
LastPass has apps for the following platforms:
Other than that, LastPass offers browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. This is great news for Apple users, as not all password managers offer extensions for Safari. Even the ones you pay for.
When striving for the best functionality, use browsers that are up-to-date.
To install LastPass on your desktop, go to LastPass’s website and click one of the two red bars asking you to Get LastPass Free.
Once you are there, sign up or log in, and you’ll be sent to this window.
From here, you can explore your account. As you will find, navigation on the desktop app is quite self-explanatory and user-friendly.
LastPass’ browser extensions are available for Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.
After creating your LastPass account, you can download the browser extension you need.
Installing it is no different than any other extension for your browser. Once you are done with the installation, login to your LastPass account from the browser extension, and that’s all you have to do.
LastPass has two apps: the main one and the LastPass Authenticator app.
As you would guess, the main LastPass app works on both Android and iOS. They are both user-friendly and intuitive. Therefore, you can start using them right away.
The Authenticator app provides a unique one-tap password verification experience that no other authenticator app offers.
Why would you need an Authenticator?
Using the LastPass Authenticator adds more security, as MFA keeps the hackers out. It also lets you choose how you’d like to login. The app supports 6-digit generated passcodes, SMS codes, and automated push notifications for one-tap login.
The LastPass Authenticator app allows push-based verification for the leading sites, such as:
So far, this is the only Authenticator on the market offering this feature.
Once you download LastPass Authenticator, you’ll add a new account to be able to use it with the main LastPass app.
Authenticator app is free, and you can find it on the Apple Store, Google Play, and Windows Store.
How to use LastPass
Using LastPass is an intuitive, user-friendly, and simple activity. Follow our steps, and you’ll be good to go.
Installing and setting up LastPass on Browser
When you visit the LastPass website, you’ll see a link to create a free account. When you click it, the service will install as an extension on your default browser. What you have to do now is simply launch the extension.
After downloading LastPass, you’ll see the LastPass button in your browser toolbar. You will press this to log in to your LastPass every time you are browsing.
Subsequently, LastPass’s tutorials will walk you through the process of creating an account.
- First of all, you’ll need to enter your email address
- Next, you’ll have to create a unique Master Password. Choose a password that is strong but easy to remember. LastPass suggests seeking inspiration from your favorite songs or quotes. That’s great, but don’t make it too obvious for anyone knowing you a little bit better.
- Explore your vault. Now you can start filling your vault with your passwords.
Let’s see how you can add a password to your vault:
- At the bottom of the main page, press + to add an item.
- Fill in the relevant information. Here you’ll have to input the URL, the name of the item, and decide which folder it will belong to. Then, you’ll type your username and site password. If you need it, you’ll be able to enter any notes to the item. You can also press Advanced Settings, and decide on master password reprompt, autologin, and autofill.
- Once you’re done, press Save. You have just added your first item.
Installing and setting up LastPass on your phone
If you are using our mobile device to sign up, create your account by entering your email address and creating a unique Master Password.
You’ll then be redirected to your vault to add your first password.
After you press on Add your first password, you’ll be sent to this window.
Just like in the browser, here you’ll fill in the relevant information.
The only difference is that on your mobile device, you can decide whether you want this item to be featured as one of your favorites.
Import and export with LastPass
When you set up your account, you’ll be able to import passwords from your browser.
- Click the LastPass button in your browser and select More Options
- Select Advanced
- Click Import
You can add sites by letting LastPass save them as you log in. You can import or upload passwords from another password manager. You can also import passwords from your email.
If you want to export your passwords from LastPass, follow these steps:
- Click the LastPass button in your browser and select More Options
- Select Advanced
- Click Export
- Select LastPass CSV file
- Type-in your Master Password and click Continue
- Select the location and click Save
One thing to note, at the beginning of April, 2020, LastPass improved their Import and Export features, and now they work without having to install the binary component. That should come as a relief to many users, as in the past there were many issues when trying to install it.
Using LastPass – autosave, autofill
You are likely using LastPass on more than one device. The great thing is that your passwords are synced automatically, and you can access them on your phone, tablet, or any other device.
Once you add sites, the built-in LastPass password generator will create passwords that are long and randomized, therefore, powerful enough to protect you from hackers. You can access the password generator through the extension dropdown. You can also press this icon: .
When using LastPass, you can forget not only all of your passwords (except the Master one) but also typing them. LastPass auto-fills your logins every time you need to.
Settings – extra features
We have already discussed the main features of LastPass, but there are some more you might want to hear about.
- Digital records. You can add notes for any memberships you might have, your wifi, insurance cards, you name it.
- Payment card profiles. You can create profiles for every single paying card you might have. That makes shopping quick and easy without typing a letter.
- Password sharing. If you have to share your passwords with anyone, you can do so securely. You are able to send encrypted passwords to others, easily sync changes, and remove access when needed. Once you upgrade to Premium, you can share passwords with five users.
- Security challenge. This is a great tool to tweak passwords that are weak, old, and are used on several sites.
As mentioned already, LastPass is widely known for its free version. However, the features you get by choosing Premium or Family plans are worth considering. I’ll discuss what you get from the Free, Premium, and Family plan, so that you could decide for yourself.
LastPass Free plan
As you can see in the image, if you choose the Free plan for one user, you get access on all devices, you are able to share your passwords with one person, you can save and fill passwords. Moreover, a password generator, secure notes, security challenge, and MFA are included.
The Free plan comes with a free 30-day trial of Premium. After 30 days, you’ll still have access to LastPass Free features, and you’ll be able to upgrade to Premium at any time for just $3 per month if billed annually.
LastPass Premium plan
Despite the fact that LastPass’ Free plan offers a lot, you can get even more great features by using Premium.
A premium version costs $3.0/month, and you get billed $36 USD annually.
Naturally, by purchasing Premium, you get all the features of a Free plan plus some more. You are now able to share your passwords with multiple people, you have emergency access. Interestingly, even the already strong MFA is strengthened with more options.
By the way, if you’re ever in a situation where you need technical support asap, you can get priority support after purchasing Premium. Not to mention 1GB encrypted file storage.
All these features apply to one user – well worth the price you pay.
LastPass Family plan
If Premium doesn’t suffice, consider getting a Family package. The main advantage of it is being able to use LastPass for up to 6 users.
Again, by choosing this plan, you will access all the features of a Free and Premium plan, plus get some extras, such as grouping and sharing items in folders, and a family manager dashboard.
The family package costs $4.0/month, and you get billed $48 USD annually.
Generally speaking, the paid version of LastPass has more backup and sharing options. Nevertheless, the free version will suffice for most people in general.
In terms of Customer support, LastPass users can visit the Customer Support page for FAQs or submit a Premium Support ticket.
You can get the answers to your most burning questions by simply starting to type. You will get suggestions for the topics you may want to explore in detail.
If the answer to your question is not there, you can submit a Premium Support ticket. And yes, this feature applies only to Premium users. However, typing the issue will be enough for the majority of the users who are concerned about smooth account creation and vault management.
Despite some slip-ups, LastPass is one of the best password managers. And most likely the best one that is free. It has all the features you want out of a password manager, such as multi-factor authentication, password capture and replay, secure sharing, automatic web form filling, and an encrypted vault.
The service also has excellent compatibility and works across most devices. Few other password managers can match LastPass.
Should you pick LastPass? The choice is up to you.